Wilson Ramos could begin a rehab assignment this weekend

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The injury bug bit Wilson Ramos yet again earlier this month when he landed on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, but he’s moving closer to rejoining the Nationals.

Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com reports that Ramos did sprints at Nationals Park yesterday and took batting practice today. Nationals manager Matt Williams believes that he could begin a minor league rehab assignment as soon as this weekend, which puts him on pace to return when he’s first eligible next Thursday.

Between his recent hamstring injury and hamate bone surgery in April, Ramos has only appeared in 24 games so far this season. There’s little doubt that the 26-year-old has All-Star potential, but injuries have kept him from a true breakout in the majors.

Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds

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As is offseason tradition, the first of player-shape reports are trickling in. These usually use some variation of the phrase “best shape of [my/his] life.” This one, though, avoids that at least.

According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds so far this offseason. Schwarber said that he’s “already big and strong,” so “might as well try to get more explosive, faster.”

Though Schwarber knocked out 30 home runs this past season, his numbers were otherwise pedestrian. He hit .211/.315/.467 with 59 RBI and 67 runs scored in 486 plate appearances.

There has been some speculation that the Cubs will try to trade Schwarber to an American League team where he can be a DH. He’s a subpar defender, so making him a full-time DH makes a lot of sense. So far, though, the only team that has been linked to Schwarber this offseason has been the Red Sox.